Guitarist Paul Pigat plays his combustible musical style with his band Cousin Harley

Guitarist Paul Pigat plays his combustible musical style with his band Cousin Harley

Cousin Harley is gonna rock this town

Guitarist Paul Pigat leads his rockabilly band to the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday, March 19.

Gather up the folk! Cousin Harley is heading to town and is bringing rockabilly to the Vernon Jazz Club stage March 19.

The band will be playing originals along with covers from the ‘20s to the rock ‘n roll era.

The audience will be rocked by songs like I’m Coming Home (Johnny Horton), Divorce Me C.O.D. (Merle Travis), and Brain Cloudy Blues (Bob Wills).

Cousin Harley is Paul Pigat on guitar and vocals, Keith Picot on upright bass, and Jesse Cahill on drums.

Pegged the “Motörhead of Rockabilly” by a fan, there’s nothing tentative about Cousin Harley’s pedal to the metal approach to this stripped down form of rock and roll.

Cousin Harley was formed in 1996 and has gone through many lineups.

This current one has been playing together for more than 12 years.

Years of performing together has brought them close, Pigat says.

“I get to make music with two of my best friends… the two fellas I most enjoy playing with.”

The band has recently released its fifth album, The Dutch Sessions, which was recorded direct to tape in the village of Schipuluiden in the Netherlands during a European tour.

Cousin Harley is looking forward to doing a Western Canadian tour this summer followed possibly by another European tour in the fall.

Pigat has been making foot-stomping music his whole life. His very first gig was playing country music at the age of 12 in the early ‘80s.  He has been tearing up stages ever since.

Pigat has supported artists Neko Case, Jim Byrnes and Carolyn Mark.

Picot not only plays the upright bass, but also writes and produces silent films on Salt Spring Island.

One of his main musical influences is Louis Armstrong.

“My favourite music is anything that Louis Armstrong ever did. That man was music,” said Picot.

Cahill began playing professionally at a young age as well.  He was 16 when he was playing restaurants and clubs in his hometown of Victoria.

He graduated from McGill University with a bachelor’s degree in jazz performance (with distinction) and now teaches at the VSO School of Music in Vancouver.

Cahill has worked with jazz legends David “Fathead” Newman, George Coleman, Harold Mabern, Red Holloway, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Charles MacPherson, and Bobby Shew.

On the Canadian scene he can be heard with top artists Tilden Webb, Jodi Proznick, Oliver Gagnon, Phil Dwyer, Bill Coon and many others.

Cahill can regularly be heard on CBC Radio One and Two and has been a featured guest and performer on Jazz Beat, Hot Air, and Canada Live.

Cousin Harley hits the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $20 at Expressions of Time and at www.vernonjazz.ca with a $5 rebate at the door for members. Cash only bar.